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The Guardian: "The truth about gentrification: regeneration or con trick?"

"Woodberry Down is a vast north-east London council estate undergoing an ambitious transformation. But while eager developers court foreign buy-to-let investors, are they casting aside long-term residents like 'social rubbish'? We spent six months on site to hear the locals' stories"

Link to web site

"Google Tony Pidgley, chairman of one of Britain’s biggest housebuilders, and you’ll find a video in which he shows off his latest toy. The plaything in question is a giant council estate that his firm, Berkeley Homes, is smashing up and building over.

"... [The original] neighbourhood was an endangered species: a patch of inner London belonging to the elderly, the working poor, the unemployed. Now it was being broken up to suit an international company selling homes to the well-off. The fact their council was leading this dismemberment made some especially angry.

"Even tenants in the new social housing reported how they or neighbours had been plunged into debt because of the higher bills incurred through having a private housing association as a landlord. Despite Berkeley’s promise to 'bring together all people in Woodberry Down', social tenants reported that those living in the expensive private blocks 'cross the road to avoid us'. They had been made to feel like second-class citizens in their own home.

"What follows are stories of the people best placed to tell you about what regeneration does to a community: the ones who come from it. Some have lived on Woodberry Down for more than six decades; others are in their 20s. Their photos don’t feature in the civic-centre case studies or corporate press releases. They haven’t got local elections to win, or a profit target to chase. They’ve just got to live with the results."

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